Treason: Soldiers promised visas – fifth witness tells court

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lawsuit

The Accra High Court trying the ten persons accused of high treason heard on Wednesday that the soldiers who were recruited to carry out the alleged overthrow of the government were promised visas.

Staff Sergeant Jonas Yeankye Kofi said Mr Bright Alan Debrah, alias BB, a freight manager and one of the accused persons, told them that he was not the main boss and that the boss was a doctor who had traveled and upon his return, he would collect all their passports and procure visas for them.

The fifth witness of prosecution, Staff Sergeant Jonas said BB again told the soldiers that their bank accounts details would also be taken so they should not be afraid.

This assurance, he said, was given to them at one of their meetings to allegedly plot the overthrow of government when Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, another accused person, allegedly asked, what became of them if they carried out the operation?

Led by Mrs Yvonne Attakora Obuobisah, the Director of Public Prosecution, Attorney General’s Department, Staff Sergeant Jonas in his evidence-in-chief said he had worked with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for 15 years. He joined GAF as a Lance Corporal at the General Headquarters Unit.

He is now in his fourth year as a physical training instructor at headquarters and that before that he was at the fifth Battalion Infantry.

The three-member panel court heard that he knew Staff Sergeant Sule Kwadwo Awarf, prosecution’s star witness, as his junior and a friend, adding that between April and June 2018, he was in Accra- home when Awarf called him and asked whether he (Jonas) could come to his (Awarf’s) house at Kpeshie barracks,” where he told me some people wanted to meet us and discuss some issues with them, so i told him to meet the people and tell me when he came back.”

“I went back home and the next morning he came to my work place and told me he had met the people and they wanted us to meet but we should organise some soldiers as they wanted to meet and take over power from the government. I told him that what they had said was serious and if we involve ourselves and there’s a problem it is going to be serious.”

He said he advised Awarf that they should involve some of their superiors, thus, Awarf agreed and left his place. “Then he later called me and said he had already informed some big men in relation to what they told him. The next day he called and told me that the Director of Defense Intelligence (DI) instructed that he should get some trusted soldiers who can be with us and we made a list and handed it over to the Director DI, now Brigadier General Andoh.”

The gave the list of soldiers as Awarf Sule, Abona Jonas, Nazieng Victor, Zakari Rahim, Ofosu Addo and Takyi Joel, Dasmani Faisal.

“After giving the names, Awarf handed the list to him, he told us that anytime they called us we should go in our numbers and listen to what they had for us. From that time, it took sometime before I heard from Awarf again.”

He continued, “One day I was at work when he called to tell me that he was coming to my place and he told me when he came that the people wanted to meet us at Next Door Beach Resort at Kpeshie, he was taking the lead with Zakari Rahim, so I should inform the rest. That day I went to Kpeshie with Sergeant Nagieng. There, Awarf, Zakari and the rest were there and we were welcomed by BB, who gave us a sheet to write our names to an already existing list of names.It was on 22nd June, 2018.”

After writing, he (BB) introduced himself to all of us and he made us do likewise. He asked whether we knew why we were there.

” At the same time, I wrote the names of those present: Awarf, Naziem Victor, Zakari Rahim, Addai Sylvester who is Lance Corporal Sylvester Akankpewu (one of the accused persons) but he gave me Addai as his surname, Lance Airforce Corporal Ali Solomon, Nii Ankrah, Atta Yeboah, Mensah Andrews, Ibrahim, Abubakar Sadiq, Dasmani Faisal, Takyi Joel, Ofosu Addo, Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan and myself of those present at the meeting in a book Awarf brought.”

At the meeting, Mr Yeboah BB, told us to come out with our suggestions or questions for deliberation where a few made suggestions, he explained.

Whilst Rahid spoke about the welfare of the soldiers, Nii Ankrah suggested that we got communication gadgets so that we can easily communicate for security reasons.

“Ali Solomon asked that he wanted to know the number of people we were targeting and also he wanted to know the boss and after everything: questions and suggestions. As these were ongoing, I was minuting them in a book where I wrote the names. After I tore the sheet and kept it in my bag.

BB told us to prepare a list of items that we will need so that the next time we meet we will submit the list to him, then we will see how best they can get them.The meeting ended and from that time we were all conversing with more refreshment.

After we left, Awraf told me some of the people I saw there were soldiers, some from 49 engineers, Airforce among others. We all departed.

“The next morning Awarf came to my place and told me he was going to handover whatever information he gathered to the Director General Defense, and I also told Awarf that we should make a list of the items BB requested, submit some recordings we did to him. We handed everything over to the Director,” the Court heard.

A piece of paper was showed to him and he said it was the paper he wrote on.

DPP: We wish to tender the paper he said he wrote on and given to Director General Intelligence into evidence.

It contains information on a meeting that some accused attended and decisions took at the meeting, witness has said that the meeting discussed the coup plot. Document is extremely relevant to the charges of the accused, it authentic, witness said he was the author which had not been challenged by Defense counsel, came into possession. Authentic, relevant and coming from proper custody and must be tendered.

Witness said, “On our next meeting, we handed the list to BB and he mentioned the items to us, one by one to the hearing of all of us, that day the meeting was brief, it was the things talked about the first day that was what we spoke about on that day.

“Somewhere in May/June, 2019, I met Awarf and he told me that BB is being sought for by police and military police. It was during that time that I went to the passport office in Accra for some transaction. At the passport office, I saw BB at the passport collection point on that fateful day, so I called Awarf upon seeing BB. I told him that I had wanted the military policemen on duty at the place to effect his arrest, then Awarf told me to hold-on for him to call director DI to inform him.”

I waited for sometime then he called to tell me that he could not reach him, so I should allow him to go. I did as he said. Since that time, I did not hear anything from Awarf and anybody again.

“On 20th September, 2019, Awarf called me to come to his place at Kpeshie, when I got there, he told me the Dr called him for them to go to the Next Door Beach to try some locally made pistols that he had procured but in the process, the Southern Command Patrol Team went there to arrest them.”

He said” On September 24, 2019, I was at work when personnel from the Serious Investigations Branch asked me to assist in investigations which they didn’t specify. I was taken to the 49 engineers guard room and I was detained. On 26th September, 2019, they brought me to the military police headquarters where my statement was taken, from there, I was taken to the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) and was further detained.

“It was when I was brought to the military police that I was told that I was part of a coup plot that I should put into writing whatever I know about it. The next day, I was interrogated and my statement was taken and they asked me and three others…”

Defense Counsel for Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm in a cross-examination challenged the witness that he did not author the writings of the two notes he claimed were taken at the meetings he attended, adding that two handwritings were sharply different but witness insisted they were his.

Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui, blacksmith, alias Ezor, Johannes Zikpi, civilian employer with GAF, Cpl seidu, Lac Ali Solomon, Colonel Samuel Gameli, WO2 Esther Saan, Akankpewu and Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Kwasi Agordzo, have been charged for varied offences in relation to the alleged coup plot.

They have since denied all the charges including conspiracy, possession of ammunition, abetment and high treason.

All the ten have denied their respective offenses and they are on bail.

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